With the right to roam freely in forests, lakes, islands and mountains, the Swedish outdoors is a playground. Whether you want something sporty and active, or just an unforgettable experience to share with friends or family, you'll find what you're looking for.
Sweden's flagship summer activity and its most accessible is hiking. An inexpensive hobby you can practice wherever you want and whenever you want, good hiking spots can be found in Swedish cities or further afield in its national parks.
Sweden has 29 national parks which are all free to access and nearly 400 hiking trails maintained by the Svenska Turistföreningen (the Swedish Tourist Association). Kungsleden (The King's trail) in Swedish Lapland and the Vasaloppsleden (The Vasalopp Trail) in central Sweden are the most famous, but trails can be found all over the country. Tourist offices are good sources of advice to help plan your hike, so why not get started in plotting an experience?
The High Coast in north eastern Sweden is a UNESCO world heritage site. Photo: Friluftsbyn Höga Kusten/imagebank.sweden.se
With not only beautiful nature, but relatively calm traffic, a well-developed network of bicycle paths and a good mixture of hilly and flat land, Sweden is a very bike-friendly country. Whether cycle touring or mountain biking, there are a range of routes open for exploration, and a bike can be rented in most Swedish cities for a reasonable price.
Canoeing & Kayaking
Sweden has about 100,000 lakes and an uncountable number of rivers, so there are an abundant amount of opportunities for aquatic activities. Is there any better way to enjoy the summer than on the water?
Whether you choose the wilderness of the Swedish Lapland, wooded Värmland, the islands of the West Coast and its fishing villages or the reliable Stockholm archipelago, there are plenty of unforgettable experiences to be had.
Allemansrätten allows everyone to roam freely in Swedish nature. Photo: Lindsten & Nilsson/imagebank.sweden.se
If you want to share a real adventure with your friends or with your family, then timber rafting is the perfect option. The concept is simple: you build your own raft and then you pilot it down a calm river on a self-guided tour.
If you opt for a longer multiple day trip then you camp along the river. For beginners, different packages exist with varying degrees of assistance depending on your ease in nature. A hotspot for the activity is Värmland.
Timber rafting tours can last anything from one to 8 days. Photo: Staffan Widstrand/imagebank.sweden.se
A fantastic place in general, the north of Sweden lends itself perfectly to fishing with its huge, wide rivers, but with the population sparse and weather challenging some preparation is required.
There are many other opportunities for fishing in the rest of Sweden whether its on the river or the coast, but in any case don't forget to check the local fishing rules with authorities, as the details of permit requirements vary.
Fishing is an activity which can be experienced by all the family. Photo: Ulf Lundin/imagebank.sweden.se
It's easy to find a place to go for a dip in Sweden, and that includes sandy beaches that are as picturesque as anywhere in southern Europe. Apart from the seaside there are also an incredible range of lakes. What's more enjoyable than spending a day swimming outdoors with your friends?
Photo: Clive Tompsett/imagebank.sweden.se
In the capital the Stockholm archipelago offers a large, accessible area to practice your sailing skills. With around 30,000 islands, it is undeniably a great and varied place to sail, and there are plenty of sailing schools in Stockholm to help you take your first step.
If you master the archipelago, you could try a step up in the Gulf of Bothnia in Swedish Lapland, where the long summer days are particularly enjoyable.
Both competitive and leisurely sailing takes place all around Sweden. Photo: Simon Paulin/imagebank.sweden.se
If orienteering is an uncommon sport on a global scale, it is well-known to the Swedes. Over half of Sweden is forest, which makes it an ideal place for this discipline.
Orienteering allows you to take your own route through nice environments using your navigational skills, and with about 600 clubs in the country there should be one nearby. A good way to start is “Hittaut” which is a fun form of orienteering available in most Swedish cities.
Anyone can access it by downloading the app, which challenges you to find checkpoints spread throughout the city and nearby forest areas. A great way to enjoy the summer sun in the city.
Orienteering can be done in both natural and urban areas. Photo: Tommy Pedersen/TT